England

West country regional adoption agency proposed

Mother with baby generic Image copyright Jupiterimages/Thinkstock
Image caption If the plan goes ahead, social workers could choose adopters from across the west country

A new partnership could simplify the adoption process in the west of England.

South Gloucestershire Council wants to create Adoption West to give social workers access to a bigger pool of potential adoptive parents.

The proposal would see the creation of a regional agency, with councils working together to find homes for children.

The new service could be up and running from April 2018.

South Gloucestershire Council has been working with Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol City, Gloucestershire County, North Somerset and Wiltshire councils and six agencies to create the agency.

It replicates Adopt South West - which Somerset, Plymouth City, Devon County and Torbay councils and two voluntary adoption agencies already operate.

Cabinet member Paul McClaine said: "When you've got children, you've got to look at what's best for them.

"To have a much wider range of potential adopters to choose from has got to be a really good thing."

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